Selasa, 30 Juni 2015

INDONESIA MUST PROMOTE TOURISM POTENTIALS AT PATA TRAVEL MART

by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, June 30 (Antara) -- With the ambitious goal of increasing foreign tourist arrivals to 20 million by 2019, Indonesia must enhance its tourism promotional activities and take advantage of the PATA Travel Mart it will host next year.
         Last week, President Joko Widodo had called for an increase in tourism promotional activities, urging his aides to find ways to attract more foreign tourists to the country.
         He had stated that the national economic slowdown should be countered with an increase in the number of tourist arrivals. Therefore, tourism industries should be developed further.
         After all, developing the tourism industry will be much cheaper than developing industries in the manufacturing sector.
         The development of the tourism sector must be intensified as it is cheaper than developing the manufacturing field, an official of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) remarked on Tuesday.
         "The development of industries, especially manufacturing industries, takes a relatively long time and a large budget. However, we already have the requirements for the tourism sector," Deputy Chairman of Kadin Rosan Perkasa Roeslani stated.

DROUGHT HITS VARIOUS REGIONS OF INDONESIA

  by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, June 30 (Antara) -- The annual dry spell, which often wreaks havoc on the country's crops, has begun to affect several regions in Indonesia once again.
         Droughts related to the El NiƱo have reduced the average rainfall to below 100 millimeters per month and to less than 50 millimeters in a number of provinces.
         "In the provinces of East Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and West Nusa Tenggara, rainfall is less than 50 millimeters per month," Head of the Information Center and Public Relations and Spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Monday.
         He added that regions in the provinces of Java, Bali, NTB, NTT, southern parts of Papua and Maluku, and a few areas in South Sulawesi were hit by the dry spell.
         "Droughts have also affected areas in Purbalingga, Gunungkidul, Wonogiri, Tuban, Bojonegoro, Boyolali, Lombok Utara, and NTT," he stated, adding that the same dry spell had hit most parts of Sumatra, as well.

Senin, 29 Juni 2015

GLOOMY ECONOMY NEEDS IMMEDIATE SOLUTIONS

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, June 29 (Antara) - The economic downturns that Indonesia is facing now need immediate solutions in order to prevent the recurrence of economic crisis that hit Indonesia in 1998.
         Indonesia also needs to shift its orientation in economic development from reliance on commodity and raw materials to improving infrastructure and developing industries.
         After all, economic slowdown is still expected to continue in the future because of inadequate infrastructure to support economic activities.
         Thus, the economy will continue to be under pressure, and a slowdown will still continue to occur in the future. "It is forecast that there will be low economic growth for some time in the future which is why the government has set a lower economic growth target in 2016," Chief Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil noted on Tuesday last week.
         He said the government has set a lower economic growth target of 5.5-6 percent in 2016. The target is set at a lower level, as it is predicted that the world economy in 2016 will continue to face pressures.

Minggu, 28 Juni 2015

BI, GOVERNMENT COOPERATE TO CURB INFLATION

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, June 28 (Antara) - Indonesia recorded a high inflation rate in May 2015, reaching 0.5 percent, the highest monthly inflation over the past seven years, or 5.17 percent year-on-year.
         In an effort to bring down the inflation rate, the central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI), is set to cooperate with the government to lower the inflation rate during the current holy fasting month of Ramadan.
         "To reduce and control inflation during Ramadan, we need to coordinate with the government," BI Deputy Governor Erwin Rijanto said.
         For this purpose, BI has decided to maintain its reference rate at 7.5 percent for the fourth consecutive occasion to curb inflation, maintain macroeconomic stability and improve current account deficit after it reduced the rate by 25 basis points in February.
         The central bank's board of directors also decided to maintain the deposit facility rate at 5.5 percent and lending facility rate at 8.0 percent.

Sabtu, 27 Juni 2015

FERRY COMPANY PREPARES TO SERVE EID TRAVELERS

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, June 27 (Antara) -- State-owned Inland Waterway Transportation Service ASDP is preparing 52 ferries to serve those traveling from Merak, the main ferry port in the western tip of Java, to Bakauheni Port in Sumatra for Eid Fitr.
         "The 52 roll-on-roll-off (Roro) ships are in good condition and are ready to cater to passengers who want to cross Sunda Strait to celebrate the Lebaran holiday after the fasting month Ramadan in their hometowns in Sumatra," Manager of PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry for Merak Nana Sutisna said in Merak on Saturday.
          As witnessed in previous years, the annual exodus of travelers following the fasting month of Ramadan for Eid Fitr or Lebaran, which falls on July 17 this year, is expected to rise 2 percent to 20 million.
         A week before (D-7) and a week after (D+7) D-Day are when there is a rush of travelers. They will opt for means of either sea, land or air transportation, with some visiting their hometowns using private vehicles and others, public transport.

GOVERNMENT EXPECTED TO REJECT ASPIRATION FUNDS

 By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, June 27 (Antara) - The House of Representatives (DPR) appears prepared to go ahead with plan to propose an Electoral Region Development Fund (UP2DP) worth Rp11.2 trillion, despite opposition from many circles.
        The plenary session of the DPR on Tuesday (June 23) agreed on moving forward with UP2DP, despite the fact that three factions of the House rejected it. The aspiration funds will soon be deliberated by the House Budgetary Body, which will discuss the 2016 Draft State Budget.
         Earlier, Chairman of the House of the Budgetary Committee Ahmad Noor Supit noted that the DPR was planning to allocate Rp11.2 trillion to all legislators as aspiration funds for regional development in their respective constituencies. The funds will be set aside in the Draft 2016 State Budget.
         Each of the 560 members of the House will receive Rp20 billion as aspiration funds, which will be channeled to the regional governments for use in projects based on the development agenda of the constituencies.
         DPR Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah remarked that the aspiration funds scheme was proposed as an implementation of the House's constitutional task and oath of office, which was regulated by the law.

Jumat, 26 Juni 2015

GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO REDESIGN "RICE-FOR-THE POOR" PROGRAM

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, June 26 (Antara) - The government will change the calculation system of its rice-for-the poor (raskin) program from being based on households to families that will increase the number of recipients from 15.5 million to 18.6 million next year.
         Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa noted on Monday that the change in the calculation mechanism of the number of recipients is intended to cover all poor families in the country.
         She affirmed that with the change in the basis of calculation, it is expected that the number of target recipients will increase to about 18.8 million since the previous calculation system was based on the number of households.
         In fact, one household can have two or more families, which are eligible to benefit from the raskin program.
         "We are now conducting verification and validation. Our previous system is based on a household approach, so the number of recipients is only 15.5 million. Some poor families did not benefit from the raskin program, as they live in one household. But, after conducting verification through the family-based approach, we found that there are 18.3 million poor families that have to be covered under the raskin program. We are working on this, and it will have implications on the state budget next year," Minister Parawansa revealed.